Bill Ayotte, 69 at the time, was watching television when he heard piercing screams from outside. He opened his door to see a woman being mauled by a polar bear. Wearing only a sweater, pyjama bottoms, and slippers, he attacked the polar bear with nothing but a shovel. After the bear was chased away, Bill, cold and unsure if he would survive, asked whether or not he had saved the woman. He had, and he would survive as well, before later earning the Star of Courage.